Regularly, a new person blows into town with ideas they almost always manage to bring to the newspaper office.

Such was the case more than five years ago when a man discovered Pine Cove as a marvelous place to plant an abused women’s shelter. Residents justifiably questioned the legitimacy of the operation and evidence proved he was a con artist.

As I said then, I’ve seen many scammers over the years because they are drawn to the magnet of newspapers, but I’m still no expert at judging a con artist by a first meeting any more than most people. I have just learned to be cautious about anyone new I meet who just rode into town excited.

So I was pleasantly surprised and drawn to Scott J. Foster, no con artist, but a truly multi-talented artisan who touched our community wherever he alit. (He was constantly in motion.) I’m grateful I let down my guard to experience the fits he radiated. He was a beautiful, dark-skinned man with unbelievable green eyes, who, shortly after we met, told Jack and I the story of when he got the part of Curly in a high school production of “Oklahoma.” He stopped his wonderful storytelling to belt out, “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’,” at the Gastrognome deck at table 55 on a beautiful Idyllwild summer afternoon. We sat stunned. What a voice. If you closed your eyes when he sang Sinatra, you would believe you were listening to a recording of the original singer.

What a person — alive and positive, excited about living. He inspired us all to live better.

By Becky Clark, Editor